No. of Recommendations: 13
Ursine Chronicler, Ambrose Evans Pritchard, notes that the confiscation of Cypriot assets is not limited to Bank Laiki and Bank of Cyprus, but also includes Cypriot gold reserves:

"Sale of excess gold reserves: The Cypriot authorities have committed to sell the excess amount of gold reserves owned by the Republic. This is estimated to generate one-off revenues to the state of €400m via an extraordinary payout of central bank profits." This seemed to catch the central bank by surprise. Officials said they knew nothing about it. So who in fact made this decision?

Who indeed? Another good question is why has Cyprus been singled out for draconian treatment by Brussels, when much of its banking malaise is a consequence of complying with EU directives resulting in massive exposure to Greek bonds? As for the allegations of Cyprus being a sunny place for shady people? As Team Moscow know, there are far bigger contenders on the block. Even if the sun in many of those locations is obstructed by a permacloud....

It is an interesting question why Cyprus has been treated more harshly than Greece, given that the eurozone itself set off the downward spiral by imposing de facto losses of 75pc on Greek sovereign debt held by Cypriot banks. And, furthermore, given that these banks were pressured into buying many of those Greek bonds in the first place by the EU authorities, when it suited the Eurogroup.... The workhouse treatment of Cyprus is nevertheless remarkable. The creditor powers walked away from their fresh pledges for an EMU banking union by whipping up largely bogus allegations of Russian money-laundering in Nicosia. A Council of Europe by a British prosecutor has failed to validate the claims. The EU authorities have gone to great lengths to insist that Cyprus is a “special case”, but I fail to see what is special about it. There is far more Russian money – laundered or otherwise – in the Netherlands. The banking centres of Ireland and Malta are just as large as a share of GDP. Luxembourg’s banking centre is at least four times more leveraged to the economy.

Given the precedent set by Cyprus, what's the next move for Portugal? Which teeters on the brink and holds the world's 14th largest gold reserves.....

We now learn that one of those lengths is to seize gold reserves. So what will happen as Portugal’s economy slides deeper into its contractionary vortex, and its deficits remain stubbornly stuck near 6pc of GDP despite the fiscal cuts, and its public debt hits 124pc of GDP this year? Portugal holds 382 tonnes of gold, the 14th largest holding in the world, and more than either Britain or Spain. For the sake of delicacy, I will skip over the methods by which Salazar acquired that gold
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